Ten months and 200,000-plus deaths after it knew what we know now about this virus, the White House is saving some lives.
Cramped, mask-less campaign rallies. Canceled. Sycophantic fundraisers. Canceled. Red-clad gatherings hosted by the Super-Spreader himself. Cancelled.
Good information and precautions suddenly are enunciated. Caution. Precaution. Thoughts and prayers and social distancing!
Suddenly on Fox News, the coronavirus is a serious matter.
Sure, the matter was serious 10 months ago, just not on that network or in this White House. Both played it down for weeks and months, death after death.
Masks save lives, but the man in charge of a nation’s response mocked them — even two days before reality arrived in a fever.
At the presidential debate his family and supporters sat before him mask-less.
Today some members of Joe Biden’s campaign team at the debate wonder if they were exposed by this recklessness.
They wore their masks. They were thoughtful about others.
So, now we trace the steps of Patient One and the cast of contagion carriers, our focus misdirected at one aide, Hope Hicks.
That’s wrong. That’s stupid.
I don’t blame Hope Hicks.
I blame everyone who heard health professionals and ignored what those experts had to say about this disease.
I blame everyone who couldn’t bear to wear that mask into that Walmart.
I blame all the bikers who bellied up to the bars of Sturgis.
I blame those who say a spot at the bar is more important than, well, life itself.
I blame politicians who preach that commerce is more important than anyone of us who might perish for the cause, like the elderly. Little did those politicians ponder the fact that their vaunted leader is of that demographic.
I blame preachers who insist the word of the Lord can’t be heard on Zoom but instead must be shared via aerosolized droplets.
I blame people who couldn’t put off that big gathering until tomorrow, risking others’ tomorrows.
I blame people who think masks are too big a sacrifice. Tell that to the dead and their survivors.
I blame people who say this is about “freedom.” Bovine excrement.
I blame those who say football is more important than fighting a pandemic.
I blame those who assumed it was all over after a few months and who up until a certain high-profile prognosis were treating the pandemic as something in the past.
I blame those who want to blame China, as if that theory is germane to anything. The virus is here. It’s everywhere. In some countries it’s under control. In our country it’s not even close.
I blame governors who put their constituents in jeopardy by recklessly opening things up too soon.
I blame horribly misinformed Republican governors.
(Georgia’s Brian Kemp acknowledged in April he didn’t realize people lacking symptoms could spread the virus. As late as July Florida’s Ron DeSantis was saying children are at almost “zero risk.” Could these pretenders do some research if they're going to lead large states?)
I blame those who issued death threats and denounced governors who took the threat seriously.
I blame mercenaries of myth who, offering themselves as experts, get air time on Fox News providing a counter-narrative to scientific consensus. (See: climate change. See: smoking and cancer.)
I blame everyone – everyone — who dismissed this matter from the start. Of course, this starts with the man – now known as Patient One — who said it would all go away with the heat of April, he who said last week we are “rounding the corner.” Instead the virus made a direct turn toward him.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.